Guest Author - Dean Ingalls
The state of Georgia has developed an extensive program for residents dealing with vision issues. The state has developed an organization called The Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI). The center provides information, resources, support and training for the visually impaired/blind residents of the state of Georgia beginning at the age of five and up with specific classes for newborn and pre-school children. The webpage of the Center for Visually Impaired post’s the following description of the center on their site, “
The Center for the Visually Impaired is Georgia's largest comprehensive, fully accredited, private facility providing rehabilitation services for individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired. Since 1962, the Center has grown to serve as a model of innovative services for people who have a wide range of vision impairments from low vision to total blindness.” The visually impaired/blind residents of Georgia have been receiving services for the past 48 years that encourages independence in a manner allowing clients to maintain a high level of dignity and pride.
The center for Visually Impaired offers the following services with a brief explanation for each service listed:
1. The Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic – a low vision clinic that provides examinations for clients beginning at the age of 5 and up. The clinic develops programs allowing clients to learn to use remaining vision to the best of their ability using optical and non-optical methods.
2. Adult rehabilitations services program – This program offers classes inside the campus of the center and in different locations in the community to assist the visually impaired/blind to develop their independence at home and work.
3. Youth services – This program includes students age six to twenty-one. The program is designed to develop the social and recreational skills of students after school, weekends and summer break. The program provides activities to challenge students to deal with the lack of physical activity and isolation faced by students dealing with vision loss and helps develop friendships between clients.
4. BEGIN – A program for clients ages newborn to pre-school. This program focuses on teaching parents how to deal with newborn and pre-school children with severe vision issues to start the process of learning to live and grow with blindness. Parents learn about their child’s illness and become advocates to work to obtain the essential programs allowing their child to grow and develop to their highest potential.
5. Support groups – The center offers support groups which includes access to counselors that help individual clients, families and groups of clients to deal with vision issues. Each of the support sessions focus on helping clients and families learn how to adjust to vision loss. Many of the group sessions are open to the public.
The center’s staff and counselors act as the first point of contact for new adult clients offering up-to-date information concerning vision impairment, state and local resources and other national sources of help and support.
A resident of the State of Georgia has a friend and help support system in place when dealing with vision issues. The Center for Visual Impairment enrolls clients, provides full examinations, develops an age appropriate program and provides counseling/support for clients and family members. The center teaches clients about vision loss and offers instruction for adjusting to the loss of vision.
I found the center’s website to be very helpful. The center’s website contains contact information with directions to the center.